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Finland to Spend $15M on New Surveillance Drones

The Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) has announced that it is looking for potential manufacturers of unmanned aerial systems to be used for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.

Around 14 million euros ($15.2 million) will be allotted to procure 1,000 to 2,000 units of intelligence-gathering drones over two years.

Lieutenant Colonel Riku Rantakari from the Army Command said that the country wants an aerial system that can operate in varying environments and all weather conditions.

He further stated that the aircraft must be easy for Finnish soldiers to use during training and actual military operations.

The FDF will be accepting applications from potential suppliers until the first week of May.

The manufacturer is expected to be selected by the summer of 2023, and system training will start later that year.

Once the systems are delivered, the FDF said the drones would be distributed to service branches from the southern coast up to the northernmost region of Finland.

Bolstering Finland’s Military Capabilities

Finland’s planned acquisition of surveillance drones is part of the country’s broader efforts to bolster its military capabilities after its neighbor Russia launched what it called a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

The five-party government in Finland recently agreed to increase the nation’s defense spending by more than 70 percent, or two billion euros ($2.2 billion), over the next four years.

The increased defense budget includes 1.74 billion euros ($1.9 billion) for the procurement of weapons and guns, 163 million euros ($177 million) for aircraft surveillance units at the border, and other upgrades.

“The war in Europe has fundamentally changed our security environment,” Finnish Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen said. “For this reason, we have decided to allocate a significant budgetary increase to the defense forces.”

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